The Cards got the best of the ‘Cats on the pitch Tuesday night.
After falling to unranked Wisconsin 1-0 last Friday, No. 19 Kentucky Men’s Soccer traveled into enemy territory to take on in-state rival No. 7 Louisville at Lynn Stadium. The Wildcats’ first loss of the season to the Badgers moved them from No. 2 all the way down to No. 19 in the latest national rankings. The Cardinals had previously been at No. 13 but moved up to No. 7 this week after winning their first three matches of the season.
Coming into their matchup against the Cards, Kentucky had won the last three consecutive battles between the two. That streak would break by the end of the night.
Cards go up quickly
It was not a good start for UK as Louisville came out and immediately scored in the 8th minute. Kentucky looked sluggish and seemed to be lacking momentum early in the match, going without a shot early on. The ‘Cats would earn two corner attempts within the first 17 minutes, but could not capitalize on either of them to get on the board.
Kentucky won the corner attempt count in the first half, but that was all they did as Louisville was able to find the back of the net once again in the 35′ to go up 2-nil. Heading into halftime, the Wildcats had one shot the whole half in comparison to the Cardinals’ 10.
Down 2-0, Kentucky had a lot of work to do in order to get back in the game. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, Louisville was not going to let them in that easily and tacked on another goal in the 56’ to make UK’s deficit three goals and time beginning to run out.
Even though Kentucky came out flat again at the start of the second half, an assist from junior Casper Grening placed freshman Isaiah Chisolm in a prime position to find the back of the net, finally putting the ‘Cats on the board at 3-1 in the 61’.
A small opening, but too little too late
It seemed like the UK offense was finding its momentum following their first goal of the match, but the defense still appeared lackadaisical. Kentucky sophomore goalie Casper Mols saved multiple shots from placing his team in a deeper deficit, even posting a career-best nine saves on the night, but he could not stop another Cardinal shot in the 73′. The fourth and final goal from the Cards made it a 4-1 game with a little over 15 minutes remaining.
The 79′ proved lucky for Kentucky as fifth-year midfielder Brennan Creek found junior transfer Logan Dorsey. The former Gonzaga Bulldog was able to drive on in and add another goal on the board for UK, but the two-goal deficit proved too much in the end.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net for the remainder of the match. Kentucky finds itself at 2-2-0 on the season after their first four matches.
Up next for Kentucky is a showdown against Lipscomb on Friday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. EST at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, KY. The Wildcats will look to regroup and pick up some much-needed momentum.